Deaths in History on August 31

  • 651 Saint Aidan of Lindisfarne, Irish bishop and missionary
  • 1056 Theodora, Byzantine Empress (b. 981)
  • 1057 Leofric, count of Mercia, husband of Lady Godiva, dies
  • 1158 Sancho III, King of Castile, dies
  • 1218 Al-Malik ab-Adil/Saphadin/Saif al-Din), brother of Saladin, dies
  • 1234 Emperor Go-Horikawa of Japan (b. 1212)
  • 1372 Ralph Stafford, 1st Earl of Stafford, English soldier, dies at 70

Henry VHenry V (1387-1422)

King of England (1413-22) and France (1416-19), dies at 36 after being weakened by dysentery and heatstroke

  • 1590 Floris Thin, politician/land advocate of Utrecht, dies
  • 1645 Francesco Bracciolini, Italian poet (b. 1566)
  • 1654 Ole Worm, Danish physician, dies at 66

John BunyanJohn Bunyan (1628-1688)

English minister and author (The Pilgrim's Progress), dies at 59

  • 1741 Johann Gottlieb Heineccius, German jurist, dies at 59
  • 1762 Emperor Momozono, 116th Emperor of Japan, dies at 21
  • 1772 William Borlase, English naturalist (b. 1695)
  • 1796 John McKinly, American physician and President of Delaware, dies at 75
  • 1799 Nicolas-Henri Jardin, French architect (b. 1720)

Arthur PhillipArthur Phillip (1738-1814)

British admiral, 1st Governor of New South Wales (1788-92), dies at 75

  • 1818 Arthur St. Clair, American soldier and politician (President of the Continental Congress, 1787), dies at 81
  • 1862 George William Taylor, US Union brigadier general, dies in battle
  • 1864 Ferdinand Lassalle, French socialist and political activist (Allgemeiner), dies at 39
  • 1867 Charles-Pierre Baudelaire, French poet and translator (Les Fleurs du mal), dies at 46
  • 1869 Mary Ward, Irish scientist, first automobile accident victim (b. 1827)
  • 1873 Charles Ferdinand Pahud, Governor General of the Dutch East Indies (1856-61), dies at 70
  • 1875 Oskar Peschel, German geographer (Physicist Erdkunde), dies at 49
  • 1879 William Barber, 6th US chief engraver (1844-79), dies

Mary Ann NicholsMary Ann Nichols (1845-1888)

English prostitute and 1st victim of Jack the Ripper, found stabbed to death in London at 42

  • 1902 Mathilde Wesendonk, German author/poetess, dies at 73
  • 1918 Joe English, Irish-Flemish draftsman, painter, and soldier (designed WWI gravestones), dies of appendicitis at 36
  • 1920 Wilhelm Wundt, German physiologist, psychologist and philosopher, dies at 88
  • 1923 Gerrit Kalff, Dutch professor (history of Dutch writers), dies at 67
  • 1924 Todor Aleksandrov, Bulgarian revolutionary, army officer, Macedonian freedom fighter, and teacher, assassinated at 43
  • 1931 Marcel Planiol, French private law scholar, dies at 77
  • 1932 Moyshe Leyb Halpern, Galican-American Yiddish poet, dies of a heart attack at 46
  • 1934 Jan Schaper, Dutch publicist and politician (SDAP), dies
  • 1935 Abraham Isaac Kook, rabbi/author (Hokhmat Ha-kodesh), dies at 69
  • 1940 George Gauthier, French Canadian Roman Catholic Bishop of Montreal and rector of the Université de Montréal, dies at 68
  • 1941 Marina Tsvetaeva, Russian poet (The Train of Life), committed suicide at 48
  • 1942 Georg Von Bismarck, German major general, (Africa Corps), dies in Battle of Alam el Halfa at 51
  • 1946 Harley Granville-Barker, English dramatist, producer (The Voysey Inheritance) and critic, dies at 68
  • 1948 Andrei A Zjdanov, Russian politician (against kosmopolitism), dies at 52
  • 1949 André-Louis Debierne, French chemist and physicist (actinium, worked with Marie Curie), dies at 75
  • 1952 Henri Bourassa, French Canadian political leader (b. 1868)
  • 1963 Georges Braque, French cubist painter and sculptor (My bicycle) who helped develop Cubism with Pablo Picasso, dies at 81
  • 1966 Kasimir Edschmid, German writer, dies at 75
  • 1967 Ilja Ehrenburg, Soviet poet and writer (9th wave), dies at 76
  • 1968 George Peabody Gooch, English historian and House of Commons leader, dies at 94
  • 1974 Norman Kirk, New Zealand politician (Prime Minister of New Zealand 1971-74), dies of a pulmonary embolism at 51
  • 1974 William Pershing Benedict, American World War II fighter pilot in both the RCAF and U.S. Army Air Forces, killed in a plane crash while firefighting in California at 56
  • 1976 Kornelis H. Miskotte, Dutch theologist (If the Gods Keep Silent), dies at 81
  • 1978 John Wrathall, President of Rhodesia (b. 1913)
  • 1981 Joseph H. Hirschhorn, US art collector/founder H Museum, dies at 82
  • 1985 Frank Macfarlane Burnet, Australian virologist (Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine for tissue grafting), dies at 85
  • 1986 Goffredo Parise, Italian writer (Il padrone), dies at 56
  • 1986 Henry Moore, English artist and sculptor (known for Three Piece Sculpture: Vertebrae), dies at 88
  • 1986 Urho Kekkonen, 8th President of Finland (1956-81), dies at 85
  • 1991 Leigh Watson, US aviation pioneer/air force general, dies at 93
  • 1994 Barbara Avedon, American scriptwriter (Bewitched), dies at 69
  • 1995 Beant Singh, Prime Minister of Punjab province of India, assassinated at 73
  • 1995 David Holloway, British literary editor (The Daily Telegraph), dies at 71
  • 1995 Horst Janssen, German graphic artist and printmaker, dies at 65
  • 1995 John Erik Jonsson, American businessman and Mayor of Dallas, dies at 93
  • 1996 David Pollock, Viscount Hanworth, British barrister, dies at 80
  • 1996 David Scott, British priest, Chaplain to the Queen, dies at 72
  • 1996 Harald Penrose, British test pilot, dies at 92

Diana SpencerDiana Spencer (1961-1997)

English Princess of Wales, dies in car crash in Paris at 36

  • 1997 Dodi Fayed, Egyptian businessman, died in a car crash in Paris with Diana, Princess of Wales,at 42
  • 2002 George Porter, British chemist (Nobel Prize, 1967), dies at 81
  • 2005 Joseph Rotblat, Polish-British physicist, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize (for work to end the nuclear arms race), dies at 96
  • 2006 Derrick Wayne Frazier, American convicted murderer (b. 1977)
  • 2009 Eraño Manalo, Filipino religious figure (b. 1925)
  • 2011 Peter Twiss, British test pilot (breaking the World Air Speed Record and being the first person to exceed 1,000 mph in flight), dies at 90
  • 2011 Valery Rozhdestvensky, Soviet cosmonaut (Soyuz 23), dies at 72
  • 2012 Sergey Sokolov, Soviet marshal and Minister of Defence of the Soviet Union (1984-87), dies at 101
  • 2015 Colin Hope, British Industrialist (Turner and Newall), dies at 83
  • 2017 Edward du Cann, British politician and Chairman of the Conservative Party (1965-67), dies at 93
  • 2020 Pranab Mukherjee, Indian politician, 13th President of India (2012-17), dies at 84